Effective communication with your employees is vital to your success as a leader.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett even believes that when one invests in one’s communication skills, both in writing and verbally, one can increase one’s income by 50%.
The ability to inspire people with words alone is not something everyone can boast about. This requires a humane approach to the way you talk to others. Even if you believe that you are a good communicator, you have probably found yourself in a situation where you cannot effectively convey your message to another person, no matter how clear and precise you are in your words.
Considering the many human interactions within a normal workday, there are a few expressions and phrases that can kind of help increase trust between you and your employees and improve your relationship with them.
“We wouldn’t have made it without your hard work”
This is a great way to show gratitude to someone for exceeding your expectations with their work on a difficult project that has been a real challenge for the whole team. Saying this in public, in front of all members of the team, is especially pleasant and satisfying for this person because it shows how much he is valued and respected.
“I could take your advice”
There is a misconception that leaders must have all the answers and therefore not seek advice from their subordinates. On the contrary, research shows that people who seek advice from others are perceived as more competent. The most effective leaders are not afraid to ask for help when they need it.
“How can I help?”
This is an extremely useful phrase, especially in times of great stress, when team members face short deadlines or challenging situations. Offering help shows that you stand behind your employees.
“I believe you”
With this phrase, things are a little more complicated. Before you tell your employee or colleague, does he or she have to do something first to gain your trust? Or does this trust develop from the very expression of faith in the other person? The common understanding is that people need to be trusted first, but many studies show that in some of the most successful organizations, leaders are willing to trust their subordinates before they deserve it. When you trust your team in the form of something as a gift, its members will be more likely to reciprocate.
“To be honest I do not know”
As a leader, the feeling of not knowing something can be very unpleasant, as others expect you to have all the answers. But WD-40 CEO Gary Ridge says “I don’t know” is the most powerful phrase he knows. He claims that once he got used to the idea that he didn’t know everything, he began to spend more time learning and growing, looking at different points of view. “Not only do I feel comfortable with ‘I don’t know,’ but I keep asking myself, ‘Why do I think that?’, Questioning my views,” he said.